EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In honor of World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, 2013, Mattel Inc. (Nasdaq: MAT) and the Mattel Children’s Foundation today announced the creation of the Joseph A. Cristina HIV/AIDS Children’s Fund, with the purpose of making a difference in the lives of children affected by HIV/AIDS in the U.S. by helping to meet their diverse needs, educating and advocating on their behalf, and bringing joy and fun into their lives. The fund, which will be exclusively endowed by the Mattel Children’s Foundation and managed by the California Community Foundation, will grant funds to non-profit organizations which support the needs of children affected by HIV/AIDS in the U.S.
More than 15 years ago, former Mattel executive Joe Cristina turned the personal tragedy of an HIV-positive diagnosis into an opportunity to make a difference by founding the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation (CAAF). Through his vision and leadership, CAAF raised $40 million since its inception dedicated to impacting children affected by HIV/AIDS through support of nonprofit organizations providing social, educational, recreational and other programs addressing the critical needs of these children. To hear Joe tell his story, click the following link: http://bit.ly/Skxcy1.
Mattel, the Mattel Children’s Foundation and Mattel employees have been there every step of the way with continued and multi-faceted support. In June 2012, CAAF joined forces with fellow nonprofit Keep a Child Alive (KCA) in order to better serve children affected by HIV/AIDS in regions of the world where the greatest need exists.
“The most challenging part of leading CAAF has been knowing there are more than 33 million people infected with HIV globally and 16 million children who have been orphaned as a result – and just not being able to do enough,” said Cristina. “Through the efforts of KCA and the Joseph A. Cristina HIV/AIDS Children’s Fund, we will collectively be able to fulfill the needs and bring joy to more children affected by HIV/AIDS around the world.”
Chosen based on several criteria, including previous partnership with CAAF, geographic diversity, and diversity in the types of services provided, the inaugural grant recipients are:
- The Laurel Foundation, Pasadena, Calif. - The mission of The Laurel Foundation is to empower children, youth and families affected by HIV/AIDS through educational and support programs in a safe and trusting environment.
- Amigos Sin Barreras/Friends Without Borders, Redondo Beach, Calif. - Founded to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS through aggressive outreach and education in the community and to enhance the lives of persons living with this disease.
- Chicago House, Chicago, Ill. - Chicago House serves individuals and families by providing housing, employment services, medical linkages, HIV prevention services, and other supportive services to those who are disenfranchised by HIV/AIDS, poverty, homelessness, and/or gender nonconformity.
- Food For Life Network, Miami, Fla. - Dedicated to feeding men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS in Miami-Dade County since 1987.
- USC Maternal, Child and Adolescent Center, Los Angeles, Calif. – Its mission is to provide comprehensive multidisciplinary care to women, children, adolescents, and their families with special health needs in a culturally sensitive environment.
- New York Council on Adoptable Children, New York, N.Y. - Founded in 1972, to insure that legally freed older and special needs children in the New York City foster care system, and children affected by AIDS, are placed with permanent, loving families. COAC acts on the belief that every child deserves such a family.
“We at Mattel are proud to honor the important work begun by Joe Cristina, who tirelessly led CAAF for almost two decades, through the Joseph A. Cristina HIV/AIDS Children’s Fund,” said Kevin Farr, Mattel CFO and Chairman, Mattel Children’s Foundation. “The first six recipients of grants from this fund represent the great need that exists for children affected by HIV/AIDS in the U.S. We are honored to help these organizations continue their support and outreach.”
California Community Foundation (CCF) has been an essential resource for philanthropy and civic engagement in Greater Los Angeles since 1915. With more than $1 billion in assets, CCF is one of the largest foundations of any kind in the nation. As a community foundation, CCF is a tax-exempt, public organization committed to transformative change in communities across Los Angeles and around the world.
About The Mattel Children’s Foundation
Established in 1978, The Mattel Children's Foundation’s vision is making a meaningful difference, one child at a time. The Foundation provides cash grants through domestic and international grant making programs, as well as international scholarships to children of employees, matching gifts and volunteer grants for Mattel employees. The Foundation also continues its tradition of partnering with exemplary nonprofit partners, such as Special Olympics, Save the Children, the Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, the Children's Hospital Association CHA), Playworks and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Mattel Children's Foundation is funded exclusively by cash donations from Mattel, Inc.
Mattel, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl®, Radica® and Tyco R/C®, as well as Fisher-Price® brands, including Thomas & Friends®, Little People®, Power Wheels® and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2012, Mattel was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the fifth year in a row. Mattel also is ranked among Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" and the "World's Most Ethical Companies." With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs nearly 30,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are "Creating the Future of Play." Visit us at www.mattel.com, follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/mattel or Twitter @Mattel.